TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
COPY SUBMISSIONS | Short Fiction, Essays (long and short form), Poetry, Profiles, Interviews
VISUAL SUBMISSIONS | Photography & Photo Essays, Original Artwork, Original Comics
GUMBO MAGAZINE, ISSUE 001 (Deadline: October 15, 2019)
Gumbo Magazine is a one-of-a-kind product and movement of Gumbo Media, a Chicago-based media company and storytelling platform that for over two years has curated content, experiences, and economic opportunities to expand the narrative of Black life, creating space for hundreds of Black creatives, professionals, and community leaders.
Gumbo Magazine is a bi-annual print publication and will be disseminated all over the world. It is the physical embodiment of our vision – a tactile exploration and archive of the expansiveness of Black life.
The theme for Issue 001 will be announced in November 2019.
ATTENTION: Gumbo Magazine is also finalizing ads in Gumbo Magazine for Black/Brown-owned businesses by October 1. If you’re interested in having your business featured, please email us at email@example.com with the subject line: ”Ad Space”
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
Black and Brown communities are filled with talent. But opportunities can be hard to come by, especially when steady media narratives are driven by monoliths or entertainment and celebrity. Much in our communities remains unseen, and we’re calling on all emerging artists to help us bring it to light. In the spirit of shining a spotlight, we open our call for submissions to any and all Black creatives—of all identities, expressions, backgrounds, abilities, personalities, and communities (including global)—to submit.
Through October 15th, Gumbo will be accepting pitches, drafts, and completed content under the following sub-themes. All content must be original and previously unpublished to be considered. To maintain balance, please submit no more than 3 total pieces—if we wish to see more, we will request it.
Gumbo Media reserves the right to publicly share any and all submitted responses. Work will only be shared if selected. Creators of selected work will be notified, credited, and compensated for their contributions.
All selected works will be PAID.
“Blackness” | An essay on the expansiveness of Black life around the world and the many (changing) definitions of “Blackness.” Answering the question, “what does it mean to be Black?” (750-1000 words max)
Black Baggage | A thoughtful essay on Black baggage. Musings on the generational weight we carry, and why we must learn to let go so that we might make room for ourselves. (750-1000 words max)
Anthology: Unspoken Communication | Assembling a series of short essays about unspoken communication from diverse perspectives. From the head nod to handshakes and dances, each micro-essay should select one form of unspoken communication and speak to its value in the Black community. Can take the form of a (true) story, a reflection, or both. (250 words max per topic)
Q&A: Colorism | Taking submissions in the form of written answers to questions around colorism. We will compile and publish our favorite answers. To submit, please fill out this form.
Anthology: Regional Black Influences on US | Fashion, food, music, business, etc.—we’ve influenced it all. Share what your region of the US is best known for, and give us its history in Black roots. (100 words max per topic)
Q&A: An Ode to Hip Hop | Are you a hip-hop head? We’re taking submissions in the form of written answers to questions on Hip Hop, its influence, and its personal impact. We will compile and publish our favorite answers. To submit, please fill out this form.
Op-Eds | We’re also accepting op-eds with musings on anything. No specific prompt. If it’s thoughtful and well-crafted, we’ll consider it. Does not have to explicitly relate to race or Black life. Just make it evergreen; avoid writing about a specific news story or passing phase. We want this content to feel relevant to readers whether they’re reading it today or in 5 years. (700-800 words max)
Black Faith | Faith traditions are changing. Particularly for Black Millennials and Gen Zers. We’re currently accepting short fiction pieces depicting compelling characters in spiritual and/or religious transition. The story can intersect with any other issues and interests you want, as long as it anchors faith. (4,000 words max)
Anthology: Blackness As Genesis | The color “black” has been associated with all forms of darkness and evil. But we see it differently. From the depths of the oceans, the earth, the cosmos, the womb, etc., most life emerges from blackness. We would argue Black culture is also a genesis for global culture. We’re currently accepting poems that run freely with the thought of blackness as a beginning. Will compile the series of poems we feel are the strongest and work the best together. Short to mid-length poems encouraged. (1-page poem max)
Anthology: Lessons to carry forward vs. lessons to leave behind | Some traditions are sacred, others are toxic. We’re accepting poems around the lessons of Black coming of age. Which do we carry forward? Which do we leave behind? You don’t have to take a definitive stance, we’re more interested in the reflection. Each poem should center a specific thought or two. Consider this poem, by Natasha Tretheway, as a narrative example. Short to mid-length poems encouraged. (1-page poem max)
“Black People Time” | We’re seeking a poem exploring time as a social construct, and “Black people time” as something cultural and generational, deeper than a stereotype. The focus can come from any global perspective. (2-page poem max)
Photo Essay: The People | Looking for an array of raw, powerful portraits of Black folks. They should be all be from the same photographer and have a clear visual identity.
Photo Essay: Black Male Friendship | Looking for a photo essay (black and white) that portrays Black male friendship. Should explore kinship and intimacy. These sorts of images are not shared enough. All photos should be from the same photographer and have a clear visual identity.
Photo Essay: Black Fashion | If you like capturing fashion, we’re seeking a photo essay that highlights fashion in the Black community. It can be diverse or themed in some way, but all photos should be from the same photographer and have a clear visual identity.
Photo Essay: Food As Expression | Are you a food blogger? We’re hoping to curate a collection of photos (with accompanying copy) that explores food around the world as an expression of Black culture and Black people. Photos can (and likely will be) from different times, but should all have a clear visual identity.
Comics | Are you a Black comic artist/storyteller? We’d love to see (and potentially feature) what you got! We’re particularly interested in comics that explore Black relationships (of any sort) but open to any and all submissions of original comics. (4 pages max)
Regional Map of the US | We’re looking for an artistic approach to a map of the United States. Should span two full-length pages (17x11in) as a spread. You can mimic these regions.
Art | No guidelines here. If you have art completed and wish to have it featured in Gumbo Magazine, Issue 001, submit it and we’ll select our few favorites, and/or those that align the best. Art should look good in print format and should display cleanly on a vertical page (8.5x11in) or horizontal two-page spread (17x11in).
HOW TO SUBMIT
Deadline: October 15, 2019
To submit completed writing or visuals that align with one (or more) of our prompts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Magazine Submission”
Include your full name.
Include the name of the associated prompt (listed above).
Add all relevant links and/or attachments to your work.
Limit to three total submissions. Each prompt counts as one submission.
Please submit only completed work. We are not likely to accept work littered with grammatical errors and a lack of attention to detail. We're interested in publishing (and paying) the best work from the best emerging artists, so we expect the work to reflect your commitment to your craft.
All writers will be paired with an editor, but we expect you to edit your own work first.
HOW TO PITCH
Deadline: October 01, 2019
(Content from approved pitches will still be due October 15)
With the right idea and skillset, we will commission any of the above prompts and remove them from this submissions platform. This is an excellent option for experienced writers and artists who wish to submit a concept before committing the time, and who trust their ability to bring said concept to life. This is also a space to pitch ideas that may stray from the above prompts, but are aligned thematically.
To pitch a piece for one of our prompts, please email us at email@example.com with the subject line: “Magazine Pitch”
Include your full name.
Include the name of the associated prompt (listed above).
Add any links, attachments, or inspirations related to pitch (if relevant).
Include samples of previous work.
Limit to three total pitches. Each prompt counts as one pitch.